Online Resources for Kids/Families/Everyone at Home

We’ll add to this list as we come across new links.   

Award-Winning Children’s Author to Discuss Democracy in a Zoom event hosted by four area libraries / Elizabeth Rusch will discuss her new book and answer viewer questions. (added 9-22-20)

Everyone has grumbled about “the government” from time to time, but what can any single individual do about it?  In today’s hyperbolic political arena, understanding what influence ordinary citizens have and how they can impact the political landscape may seem like a daunting, if not impossible, task.  In her new book, Elizabeth Rusch takes on many of the difficult and troublesome aspects of our governmental system and explains them in a manner that makes them easy to understand, without needing a political science degree.  Like many of her other books, You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People is written for a young adult audience, but the message is pertinent to citizens of all ages. You Call This Democracy? was published on March 31, 2020, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Ms. Rusch addresses a wide variety of topics pertinent to any discussion of modern American government, including the Electoral College, gerrymandering, the roles and responsibilities of the US Congress, campaign finance, truth in advertising, dark money, and voter suppression, among others.  

To share this message and give central Illinoisans a chance to ask questions of their own, Ms. Rusch will be participating in a one-night-only Zoom presentation on October 20, 2020, at 6:00 pm Central.  The joint event hosted by Alpha Park Library in Bartonville, IL, Chillicothe Public Library District in Chillicothe, IL, Creve Coeur Public Library in Creve Coeur, IL, and spearheaded by Illinois Prairie District Public Library in Metamora, IL will bring together Ms. Rusch and members of the public for a frank discussion of her book, followed by a Q & A session featuring questions submitted by the public and the viewing audience.  The presentation is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  A library card is not needed to participate.  This presentation is suitable for adults, families, and children, although younger children may find some aspects confusing.

To register for the event, please visit  To submit a question, please visit For more information on this event:

The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting several free webinars this month:  UNDERSTANDING ALZEHEIMER’S & DEMENTIA: ALZHEIMER’S IS NOT NORMAL AGING. It’s a disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Join to learn about:
»The impact of Alzheimer’s.
»The difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia.
»Alzheimer’s disease stages and risk factors.
»Current research and treatments available to address some symptoms.
»Alzheimer’s Association resources.
Monday, September 28, 12 p.m.–1 p.m. Education program via ZOOM. To register, please call 800.272.3900 or visit   (added 9-10-20)

Magination Press, which is the children’s book imprint of the American Psychological Association, has some free downloadable resources to help children and teens understand Covid-19 and deal with living in a time of pandemic. A Kid’s Guide to Coronavirus discusses what the virus is, how it spreads, and what kids can do to help; Unstuck! 10 Things to Do to Stay Safe and Sane During the Pandemic is an activity book for tweens and teens to help manage stress and express emotions. (added 9-9-20)

Here’s a great art activity from Cassie Stephens, an art teacher in Tennessee, “Behind My Mask: A Superkid Self-Portrait” – Just like a mask hides whatever emotion you might be feeling, we also don’t necessarily see the qualities we have (or that others see in us) on the outside. Here’s a chance to both draw yourself and describe yourself in positive words, with the fun addition of a “now it’s there, now it’s not” mask that you can decorate however you like!  (added 8-28-20)

Free Picturebook Download – Candlewick Press is celebrating the release of their new picture book Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and illustrated by David Litchfield by offering a free e-book to raise awareness for Save the Children, which in the United States works to serve the most vulnerable children in rural America and provide them with the early learning resources they need to be successful in school and in life. Rain Before Rainbows is an uplifting story of hope that can comfort children and families in these challenging times and can be downloaded for FREE here until September 30. (added 8/18/20)

Kidlit at Home – brings together the best videos from around the world created for kids by diverse kidlit authors and illustrators. (added 8/12/20)

Foster+Partners, an international architecture firm headquartered in London, has posted templates to print and use to create a paper skyscraper. If you can make a skyscraper… then why not make a whole city? There are lots of templates you can use to create your very own paradise! The firm also has created an e-book for younger readers called “What Makes a Building?”. (added 5/5/20)

New York Public Library’s blog channel So much good information here. Book lists in the Biblio File and Children’s Literature channels. Lots of access to the digitized collections of NYPL. (added 4/28/20)

Virtual Field Trips If a walk around the block just isn’t cutting it, here’s some virtual field trips to expand your horizons from your own living room. And another set of links for twelve world-class museums offering virtual tours and exhibitions. (added 4/6/20)

Zentangle® for Kids Here’s a free downloadable book of beginner Zentangle® patterns and strings – not a coloring book, but an idea starter! (added 4/6/20)

Midland Center for the Arts Princeton-native Dexter Brigham is hosting regular Friday night readings of Shakespeare’s works (such as As You Like It and King Lear) on the MCA’s Facebook page – those performances are available on their feed, as well as Make Art Virtual programs on the abstract art of Mondrian, spoken word poetry performance, and conducting. (added 4/6/20)

Mystery Science  Starter set of science lessons for Kindergarten through 5th grade. Parents can sign up for a free account if they are interested in additional mini-lessons.

PBS Kids Daily Newsletter Free sign up link for PBS Kids’ new weekday newsletter, offering activities and tips for helping kids play and learn at home.

Storyline Online 57 picture books, read by celebrity actors and authors

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